In Summary
  • Coffee farmers will start pocketing 80 per cent of gross earnings while their co-operative societies, millers and marketers will share the remaining 20 per cent if Parliament passes new regulations.
  • The proposals are part of the wider coffee sector reforms initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2016 following pleas by Mount Kenya leaders ahead of the 2017 elections.
  • Mr Kenyatta appointed a task force to look into the sector which handed over its findings in 2017.
  • The findings were the basis of crafting the regulations.

Coffee farmers will start pocketing 80 per cent of gross earnings while their co-operative societies, millers and marketers will share the remaining 20 per cent if Parliament passes new regulations.

The proposals are part of the wider coffee sector reforms initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2016 following pleas by Mount Kenya leaders ahead of the 2017 elections.

Mr Kenyatta appointed a task force to look into the sector which handed over its findings in 2017. The findings were the basis of crafting the regulations.

However, the High Court threw out the regulations, which were to be anchored in the Crops Act, for lack of public participation.

The new regulations, which are awaiting handover to Attorney General Kihara Kariuki before they are forwarded to Parliament, are a result of consultations with stakeholders, including the public and the Council of Governors.

“The cost charged by co-operative societies to growers for pulping, factory expenses, transportation, milling, warehousing, brokerage, and any other expenses shall be as per the societies’ budget but shall not exceed 20 per cent of the gross earnings from coffee sales,” states the new regulations.

The coffee industry contributes about Sh20 billion to the economy annually.

Over 700,000 smallholder farmers and 3,200 estates spread across 31 counties grow the crop.

As part of the reforms, President Kenyatta announced that the government had set aside money for the sector during the State of the Nation speech a fortnight ago.

“We have set up a Sh3 billion Cherry Advance Revolving Fund to be operational from July 1. Consequently, all coffee farmers across the country will be able to access the money at a modest interest rate of three per cent,” the President stated.

Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga said the regulations were being edited before submission to the AG.

“We are almost done. What delayed us was concern by the Council of Governors on licensing but now we are all in agreement. Soon they will be with the AG,” he said.

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